Rams Take Down Saints in Raley Field Showcase

Rich Peters
April 6, 2016

River News-Herald

Brady Bowers, Ryan Mackey and Chris Kimbrow congratulate each other after knocking off their rival Delta Saints.

It was a beautiful day for baseball at Raley Field on Saturday afternoon when the Rio Vista Rams and the Delta Saints added another chapter to their longtime rivalry. The Sacramento River Cats were gracious enough to host the two teams and give the high schoolers a taste of what it’s like playing at a higher level.

Heading into the match up, both teams have struggled to get into a rhythm so far this season with a majority of both rosters filled with a lot of new faces and underclassmen. But on a big stage at Raley Field in this old school rivalry, it was clear that both ball clubs were going to bring their A-game.

Things started off a bit shaky in a first inning that was highlighted by two great plays by the starting catchers. Delta led off with a base hit off of Rams’ freshmen starter Chris Kimbrow. Kimbrow worked his way around the leadoff single and the inning ended on a caught stealing perfect throw to second by Rams’ catcher Bryce Ciaramitaro. In the bottom half of the first, junior Jacob Rapp took the mound for the Saints. He also found himself in trouble early on but was helped out by his battery mate and older brother, senior T.J. Rapp, when he made one of the greatest catches you’ll see a catcher make on a foul ball, completely giving up his body and sliding into the backstop railing.

The Rams still managed to score in the first, however, as the rest of the Delta defense looked a little nervous and mishandled a few routine plays. Bryan Peters was able to capitalize on the Delta lapses with a base hit to give the Rams a 1-0 lead. Rio was unable to add on and left two runners stranded in scoring position.

The Saints tied up the ballgame in the top of the third with a two out base knock by Cal Rooney and it looked as if they found their stride, but the Rams weren’t phased.

Rams right fielder Bryan Peters hit a two out triple to right in bottom of the third. This led to another big two out hit, this time a double by Bryce Ciaramitaro, and the Rams went back up 2-1.

Junior Ryan Mackey took over the mound for the Rams in the fourth replacing Kimbrow, who gave up just two hits and one run, striking out four Saints batters over three innings. Mackey retired the Saints in order in the fourth.

The Rams tacked on two more runs in the bottom half of the fourth thanks to more clutch two out hitting and a little trickery. Mackey, who had himself a day, drove in a run to add some insurance and pushed the lead to 3-1. Later in the inning in a first and third, two out situation the Rams pulled the old “get picked off stealing second and have the runner break home from third” trick – and it worked. The inning ended with the Rams leading 4-1.

Mackey shut the door on the Saints for what seemed like a four inning save appearance. He gave up just two Saints hits and struck out eight, pitching his way out of a couple walks in the top half of the seventh to seal a Rams victory.

The Saints just couldn’t get their bats going and even when they had opportunities they failed to capitalize on them.

The combination of Kimbrow and Mackey was spectacular for the Rams in a winning effort, but the Saints got a gritty performance out of their starter Jacob Rapp too. Rapp pitched a complete game allowing just five hits, one walk, and four runs while striking out eight. He didn’t have the run or defensive support that he needed to get the win, but he put forth a valiant effort.

Freshmen Bryce Ciaramitaro collected three hits and two RBI’s and senior Bryan Peters had two hits and scored a run for the Rams. Sophomore Cal Rooney had two hits and the lone RBI for the Saints.

With a victory on Saturday, the Rams are now 4-8 on the season. Delta has since defeated Forest Hill 13-3 and improved to 6-6.

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